Is This Hormone Hindering Your Weight Loss Efforts?
As a family nurse practitioner, my superpower is taking complex medical information and making it simple and easy for you to understand. Today, I’m going to reveal one super important hormone related to the success of your weight loss efforts. Let’s get acquainted! Cortisol gets a bad wrap but it’s actually a good hormone. Think of it as your body’s built-in alarm system. Here are some of the amazing things cortisol does in your body:
- Manages how you use carbs, fat, and protein
- Keeps inflammation down
- Manages blood pressure
- Regulates blood sugar
- Controls your sleep-wake cycle
Cortisol was super helpful back in primitive days if we were being chased by a mountain lion or bear. It gave us the juice to escape and stay alive. The issue now, is that we trigger our cortisol response all the time for emotional reasons… like when we feel frustrated with our boss or we are worried about our kid being bullied at school. When cortisol is released into the body, digestion stops and blood sugar spikes. Let’s say you are sitting in traffic, late for work, and stressing out. Your blood sugar level is spiking, your digestion is shutting down, and the coffee and toast you just ate is causing bloat and irritation. And all the while, you are stuck in your car instead of moving your body to spend the extra blood sugar that is mounting during your stress response. Now, you’re getting in trouble. Your body has no other choice than to pack that extra blood sugar into your fat cells. Creating weight gain and a vicious cycle. When it happens day after day, you can see why it feels impossible to lose weight. Can you relate? Here’s what you can do today to make cortisol your friend in weight loss efforts:
1. Let go of negative and disempowering thoughts. It’s exhausting! If you are anything like most of my clients, you are sick of going through the same routine, year after year….resolving to get healthy or lose weight, only to be tempted by your husband’s snacks, or free donuts in the breakroom, or cookies in the church lobby….again and again! Don’t get me wrong… I’m all for starting over and trying again, but something is missing from your approach if you still aren’t hitting your goals. I’m here to interrupt the script you’ve been running…and it starts NOW. I’ve been in the health field for over 20 years, and during that time I’ve noticed 2 basic and simple elements to any successful health change:
- Strategy (the DOing….like drinking enough water or eating organic)
- Mindset (the BEing….like owning responsibility for your health)
All of us have tried some aspect of the DOing component, but have you taken a look at your thoughts? What are your beliefs about your body? Are you remembering to love yourself first? It IS true that you can love yourself to excellent health and change your destiny. The first step? Committing to yourself. It’s not always easy to recommit to yourself after multiple unsuccessful attempts at changing your lifestyle and getting healthy. It’s time to reflect on the perfectly incredible human you are! Spend some time answering this question: I AM PERFECTLY MADE BECAUSE… Come up with as many reasons as you can! When you do this, take a picture of you journaling and tag me on Instagram!
2. Take time to connect with family, friends, co-workers and loved ones in positive ways Connection, love and belonging is what makes us human. When was the last time you picked up the phone instead of sending a text or message? Despite the increase in electronic device usage, sociological research tells us that social connectedness is actually decreasing…even more so right now! When polled, most Americans state they have nobody to confide in and no close friends. It’s not surprising there is an increase in loneliness, social isolation, and alienation. Lack of social connection leads to anxiety, depression, antisocial behavior, suicidal and even homicidal behavior… and ultimately increases cortisol. And here’s something you may not have been aware of….lack of social connectedness predicts the likelihood of developing disease and early death! Scientists have shown over and over again that the communities where people live the longest in the world have strong social connections. So, my ask of you today is to reach out to someone you haven’t talked to in a long long time. Pick up the phone and call. Don’t just send a text! Find creative ways to maintain connection right now during these times. My grandmother is 96 years old and she knows how to Facetime! Even better that she can see our faces and know she is loved!
3. Fuel your body with good nutrition and eliminate processed foods Sugar, processed grains, processed meats, trans fats, food additives and preservatives, artificial sweeteners, inflammatory oils, etc all create inflammation within the body which directly affects cortisol. One of the best ways to support cortisol is by feeding your body the right way. For a more detailed plan of what to eat and what to nix, download my FREE Easy Food Swap Guide and discover:
- What to swap out in your pantry and diet so you can support your weight loss efforts.
- The “Clean 15” foods to add to your diet, and the “Dirty Dozen” foods that you should avoid unless you can get it organic.
- The best foods to indulge in when you have a sweets craving so you never have to feel deprived!
4. Get a good night’s sleep This weight loss tip has everything to do with catching your nightly Zs. Studies show, when you don’t get enough sleep, your metabolism can’t function properly. To help support your body to release weight, make sure you’re getting at least seven-ten hours of sleep every night. Here are two of my personal favorite ways to boost sleep: If you must use screens after sunset, use blue light blocking glasses or add them to your next glasses prescription. They have tons of cute options on Amazon! Take melatonin or magnesium before bed. For 5 more tips to boost your sleep, get a copy of my free Boost Your Immunity Checklist here. If you suspect cortisol is wreaking havoc on your health, I can support you. As a Nurse Practitioner for more than twenty years, I’ve discovered the formula to Reclaim Vibrant Health and it centers around restoring your gut health and reducing inflammation in your body! I’ve created a program that will help you:
- Release Weight
- Restore Energy and
- Renew your Focus from the inside out!
Take Good Care,